Issue - meetings

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Meeting: 14/08/2018 - Cabinet (Item 51)

51 Council Tax Reduction Scheme pdf icon PDF 243 KB

[Report of the Interim Director of Finance. To be introduced by the Cabinet Member for Finance.]To agree the approach for a  potential revised Council Tax Reduction Scheme and required consultation.



Additional documents:


Following the deputation, the Cabinet Member for Finance formally introduced the report which set out the process and content of proposed potential changes to the 2019/20 Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The report set out a series of options to amend the current scheme, with a preferred option highlighted as being a combination of increasing the maximum level of Council Tax Reduction from 80.2% to 100% for working age claimants with children and updating the CTRS to align with some national welfare changes.


The Cabinet Member emphasised the Labour administration’s manifesto commitment to ensuring fairness for all. Costs were continuing to rise but the Council was not able to respond with fair increases to collect what was needed to carry on delivering vital services. The Cabinet Member acknowledged that old commitments by previous local government administrations were sometimes not deliverable but the focus was to deliver key services for residents and to recognise the problems they faced. The Cabinet Member concluded his presentation by commending the report to the Cabinet for approval.


Following questions from Cllr Dennison, the subsequent points were noted:


  • For working age claimants, the Council Tax Reduction Scheme had not been updated since 2013 but the new scheme would bring this up to date. The complexities involved in updating such figures under this scheme (going out to consultation) and working through quite prescriptive government guidance meant that this exercise was completed periodically.


  • Whilst almost all of those affected by the Council Tax Reduction Scheme would be better off as a result of the preferred proposals, there was a small number of residents identified that would not be financially better off. For those identified, it was estimated that this would result in no more than a 95p increase a week and, although it was not possible to identify how many would be affected negatively, for most residents it was clear that they would gain from the revision.


  • The Council Tax Reduction Scheme was aimed at helping the 6,000 most in need working age claimants, rather than all 10,000 working age claimants, because it was anticipated that this was as much as could be done within 2019/2020 budget. Nonetheless, this was an important step in delivering on a key manifesto commitment and a positive step in the right direction.


  • With regards to funding the proposed changes to the scheme, this would be part of budget discussions that would take place later in the year.


  • In relation to individual’s eligibility under Universal Credit being used as the basis for their entitlement for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, it was acknowledged that there was a number of ways in which to deliver the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. This option was considered but was not a preferred method as Haringey Council was at an early stage of implementing Universal Credit. It was therefore decided that, at this time, it would not be appropriate to use this as the basis of any new Council Tax Reduction Scheme.




1. To agree to go out  ...  view the full minutes text for item 51